Matt’s finished but Status Quo preserved
Quo are parting company with their drummer, who has decided to quit after 12 years in the band. Matt Letley, who played his last show with the group last night at London’s O2 Arena, says his decision to move on is not related to a series of reunion shows featuring past members. The group’s classic original line-up will reform next year as stalwarts Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt are rejoined by Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan. The quartet will play live together for the first time in three decades for five dates in the UK. Rossi and Parfitt will visit Australia next year with their touring line-up, with shows in Brisbane and at the Byron Bay Bluesfest. ‘‘It’s been a fantastic journey over the past 12 years or so but I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave Quo and move on to something new,’’ Letley says. ‘‘No doubt there will be much conjecture that this is somehow related to the upcoming reunion gigs but I’d like to assure everyone that it has no bearing on my decision. Indeed I wish the guys every success with this tour and certainly hope to come along to see one of the shows.’’ Rossi, Parfitt, Lancaster and Coghlan were in the group when they adopted their name in 1967 and featured on their breakthrough Top 10 hit Pictures Of Matchstick Men. The line-up was known as the ‘‘frantic four’’. Letley is full of praise for the band – whose hits include Rocking All Over The World, Down Down and Caroline – and its fans. ‘‘Most of all I thank the fans, without whom I should not have had the chance to play with one of the best rock and roll bands in the world,’’ he says.
Status Quo play the Brisbane Convention Centre on March 28 and the Byron Bay Bluesfest on March 30.
Status Quo in Melbourne in 2000: John Edwards, Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi, departing drummer Matthew Letley and Paul Hirsh.